A Soldier for Jesus

Soldiers, war, battle, fighting, standing firm, armor, victory, and defeat. The imagery of war and conflict is strewn throughout the pages of scripture. There, the Christ-follower is repeatedly characterized as a soldier.

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
– 2 Timothy 2:3-4, ESV

From the apostle Paul’s word to Timothy above, we see that, not only are we soldiers, but we are soldiers with a purpose. We function as soldiers in our efforts to please the one who has enlisted us. It matters little what other men and women may think of us or our activities. We report to God.

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
– Acts 5:29, ESV

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
– Galatians 1:10, ESV

Serving as a soldier is not a job. One does not clock out at the end of a day. Those who work and serve as soldiers are called out of their former life to live a life dedicated to executing the orders and the will of their commanding officer. As soldiers of Christ, we have been called out of our former life, and now we live exclusively to execute the will of King Jesus.

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.
– 1 Timothy 1:18-19, ESV

Wage the good warfare. Fight the good fight. If there is a good fight, then there is, by necessity, a bad fight as well. There is a fight that we are not to engage. Is that the fight that engages us in “civilian affairs” noted in the first quotation above? The “good soldier” of Christ Jesus fighting the “good fight” does not become entangled in non-kingdom affairs.

Consider this from Paul.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
– Ephesians 6:12, ESV

With each engagement, we do well to ask, “How am I using this activity for the kingdom?” Is this “fighting the good fight,” or am I getting entangled in civilian affairs? When we battle for the kingdom of God, we do battle against unseen realms rather than flesh and blood. The armor we wear is spiritual armor.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints
– Ephesians 6:14-8, ESV

The actual armor is frequently given focus, but do not lose sight of that last verse. The battles a disciple fights are battles we fight on our knees. This is a war waged in the unseen, intangible realm. It is a battle engaged through prayer, a battle we wage for the captain of the host of the LORD.

Blessings upon you, my friends.

Victoriously in Christ!

– damon

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Damon J. Gray

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  1. Susan Sage on April 22, 2024 at 12:40 PM

    I always look forward to seeing where your words will challenge my heart and thinking. You did it again. Thank you.

    • Damon J. Gray on April 22, 2024 at 1:14 PM

      Hello Susan! Welcome to the blog comments. 😉

      Thank you for the kind comment. You do me honor beyond what is due.

      You’re in the “approved” list now and will not have any moderated comments. I’m so pleased to see you here.

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